McFeely Group Intermediate Football Championship
Drumsurn 1-11, Slaughtmanus 0-05
Drumsurn progressed to the next round of the McFeely Group Derry Intermediate Championship after a routine victory over a disappointing Slaughtmanus side in a poor game at Celtic Park on Saturday.
St Matthew's won without ever having to hit top gear after a forgettable fixture in which St. Mary's managed only one score from play and one second half free for their efforts. The Division Two champions were not at full strength but if Darren McShane's men ever needed reminding about the step up they are taking going into Division 1B next season, this was it.
Drumsurn produced nothing more than a workmanlike performance but it was still more than enough to comfortably see off the Slaughtmanus challenge.
The game's only goal which the pivotal score, Daryl's Mullan's fine fisted effort providing a three point cushion which Slaughtmanus never threatened to close. Even a second half red card for the goal-scorer following a second booking didn't spark St. Mary's into life as they failed to as a single score with the extra man.
The first half was a forgettable tale of Slaughtmanus defence and Drumsurn possession. Slaughtmanus set up to contain their higher division opponents with 12 men inside their own '45' and Conor McGee the link man in a side set up to counter attack.
Drumsurn bossed the ball but were reluctant to shoot from distance, instead trying to probe and plot their way through a Slaughtmanus defence that had numbers on their side.
That said, Drumsurn didn't need to be in any rush because Slaughtmanus weren't carrying an attacking threat in the opening quarter. Indeed it would be 11 minutes before the game's opening score and Slaughtmanus went 22 minutes before getting their solitary score from play through Aidy O'Kane's lovely left footed effort that deserved a better platform than this poor game.
It was Pearse McNickle versus Gavin McShane in the opening stages, the two stalwarts trading the first five points, McNickle edging his team in front before McShane scored the first of three first half frees.
Drumsurn always led and deserved their interval lead, provided by one of the game's only moments of true quality, that Mullan goal.
There were 26 minutes on the clock with Drumsurn meandering down the right wing only to be met with Slaughtmanus' defensive wall along the '45'. It was probably the first time in the match that St. Matthew took a chance with a high ball, Michael Mullan dropping an enticing ball which Daryl Mullan couldn't resist. The big midfielder timed his run to perfection, arriving at the perfect moment to soar above both keeper and defender to thump a finish into the Slaughtmanus net for a 1-03 to 0-3 lead.
McShane and McNickle traded further frees as the half-time whistle brought an end to a half that had almost as many yellow cards as scores despite never being over physical.
Any of the spectators expecting an improved second half were to be badly disappointed. It never threatened to be a contest.
Cahir Mullan opened the scoring only for Gavin McShane to cancel it out with a free on 36 minutes but it would be Slaughmanus' last score of the game.
For their part Drumsurn went about their business without over extending themselves. The excellent McNickle continued to prove the class act on the pitch and added a point from play before Harry Foster made it 1-07 to 0-05.
The lead was still flimsy enough to expect a Slaughtmanus onslaught but it never arrived, even when Drumsurn were reduced to 14 men following a second booking for Mullan with still the final quarter of the match to play.
Instead it was impossible to tell which team were a man short as Oran Rafferty's superb run teed up Shea Murray for a nice score.
The best move of the match from Drumsurn ended with another Foster firing over another score with two further McNickle frees merely confirming an outcome that everyone inside Celtic Park had known for quite a while before the final whistle.
Drumsurn scorers: Daryl Mullan (1-0), Pearse McNickle (0-7, 5f), Cahir Mullan (0-1), Harry Foster (0-2), Shea Murray (0-1)
Slaughtmanus scorers: Gavin McShane (0-4, 4f), Aidy O'Kane (0-1);
Drumsurn: Steven Harbinson; Eoin Ferris, Aaron Butcher, Daniel McNicholl; Christopher Harbinson, Dara Rafferty, Tiernan Woods: Cahir Mullan, Daryl Mullan; Sean Butcher, Michael Mullan, Shea Murray; Ruairi Rafferty, Harry Foster, Pearse McNickle.
(Subs) Tiernan McHugh for M Mullan (blood sub), 36mins - reversed 40mins; Tiernan McHugh for R Rafferty, 43mins; Jonathan McLaughlin for D McNicholl, 46mins (blood sub) reversed 50mins; Ciaran Mullan for C Harbinson, 60mins;
Yellow Cards: H Foster, 6mins; D Mullan, 18 & 47mins; Christopher Harbinson, 34mins;
Red Cards: D Mullan, 47mins
Slaughtmanus: Kevin Duddy; Corrin McMonagle, David Quigg, Ciaran McGuinness, Jude Mullan; Cahir Cooke, Brian McGivern; John Robertson, Barry Lyons; Meehaul Brolly, Gavin McShane, Eoghan Cassidy; Aidy O'Kane, Conor McGee, Killian Thornton.
(Subs) Ian Doherty for M Brolly, 40mins; Christopher Deery for G McShane, 50mins; Conor Lyons for A O'Kane, 53mins;
Yellow Cards: B McGivern, 1mins; G McShane, 7mins; J Mullan, 20mins; Corrin McMonagle, 32mins;
Referee: Maurice Corrigan (Moneymore)